Thursday, May 12, 2011

Finishing touch eluding Fire

Fire's Diego Chaves -- Getty Images
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- The Chicago Fire offense possessed the ball for almost 70 percent of their scoreless draw against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday.

They garnered a miniscule point in the standings and no goals to show for their efforts.

The team's finishing touch has been absent for more than a month now. Chicago (1-3-4) showed promise right out of the gate, particularly with a three-goal effort en route to a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City on March 26, followed by a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on March 30 in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in match.

The Fire have not posted a multi-goal effort since then, and the 4-2 loss to the Portland Timbers on April 14 included both defenses swapping own-goals.

So where has the finishing gone? How can a team that has the ball for two-thirds of a game not manage to tally a single goal?

"The confidence is always important, and maybe it's the technique in the moment, the way that you shoot the ball, the way that you have reception of the ball after you shoot," Fire head coach Carlos de los Cobos said. "Maybe it's the pressure of this moment because the player -- I'm talking generally -- has a good option and he misses, which is part of this game."


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